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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(4), 3814-3834; doi:10.3390/ijerph120403814

Conceptual and Operational Considerations in Identifying Socioenvironmental Factors Associated with Disability among Community-Dwelling Adults

1
Département de Sexologie, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, QC H3C 3P8, Canada
2
Institut National de Santé Publique du Québec, Montréal, QC H2P 1E2, Canada
3
Departement de Medecine Sociale et Preventive, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC H3N 1X9, Canada
4
Departement de Medecine Sociale et Preventive, Université Laval, Quebec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
5
Spatial Epidemiology and Evaluation Research Group, School of Population Health, Sansom Institute for Health Research, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia
6
Department of Medicine, St. Vincent's Hospital, The University of Melbourne, Fitzroy, VIC 3065, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 17 February 2015 / Revised: 31 March 2015 / Accepted: 1 April 2015 / Published: 3 April 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [706 KB, uploaded 3 April 2015]

Abstract

Disability is conceived as a person–context interaction. Physical and social environments are identified as intervention targets for improving social participation and independence. In comparison to the body of research on place and health, relatively few reports have been published on residential environments and disability in the health sciences literature. We reviewed studies evaluating the socioenvironmental correlates of disability. Searches were conducted in Medline, Embase and CINAHL databases for peer-reviewed articles published between 1997 and 2014. We found many environmental factors to be associated with disability, particularly area-level socioeconomic status and rurality. However, diversity in conceptual and methodological approaches to such research yields a limited basis for comparing studies. Conceptual inconsistencies in operational measures of disability and conceptual disagreement between studies potentially affect understanding of socioenvironmental influences. Similarly, greater precision in socioenvironmental measures and in study designs are likely to improve inference. Consistent and generalisable support for socioenvironmental influences on disability in the general adult population is scarce. View Full-Text
Keywords: disability; social participation; activities of daily living; residential characteristics; environments; socioeconomic inequalities disability; social participation; activities of daily living; residential characteristics; environments; socioeconomic inequalities
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Philibert, M.; Pampalon, R.; Daniel, M. Conceptual and Operational Considerations in Identifying Socioenvironmental Factors Associated with Disability among Community-Dwelling Adults. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 3814-3834.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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